Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Bound at home with my abusive mother



I don't believe anyone can help me out, but a bit of reassurance will be fine as I desperately need to get this off of my chest.

I live in a Muslim country, the kind which everyone in the West considers to be 'too strict.' I am almost an adult, have two sisters, and I am the middle child. We are a middle-class family, and Alhamdulillah have access to everything luxury– house, water, electricity, food, technology etc. The only difficulty I am going through is abuse from my mother. My mother has been abusive to me since I was a child, but I have recently noticed it. I was an exceptional student in school and always got good grades up until I came to grade 11. That is when things went downhill. Staying at home with my mother made it hell for me. She has verbally, mentally and physically abused me all my life.

I am quite hairy for a girl, have thick hair and VERY thick eyebrows. I have always been insecure about my facial and body hair, and my mother did nothing to assure me, instead calling me a "wolf" and a "bear." I have started removing the excess hair from my face and around my eyebrows to make myself look more like a girl (a lot of people had said I looked like a boy with bushy brows). I feel a lot better and more confident than ever. But my mother says I look like a ****.

Regardless, I am and have always been very feminine. I have always loved applying makeup, but have started applying it more minimally so as to not attract attention. But every time I do, she says that I am a prostitute and that she would sell me in the market to a man. It's extremely disgusting to hear her say it. Because of this I have developed fear of men, have been getting nightmares of being raped, and have trouble eye-contacting with anyone. On top of that, she never misses humiliating me in front of others. My mother will use anything to insult me. She has done this many times; in front of my uncles, aunts and cousins. No wonder they always ignored me.

I am not allowed to have friends, not allowed to step outside the house or do anything in general without her permission. She is narcissistic and her manipulation game is on point. My father on the other hand is a very pious man (In  my 18 years of life, I have never seen him miss a single prayer, always praying Tahajjud and reading Quran). He is also very much troubled by my mother's behavior. I have suggested he divorce her many times, but he fears she might commit suicide. She has a history of suicide attempts. And not because she is troubled in the head, but because her name will be tarnished in her hometown!

Ever since I was ten years old, she has called me a kafir because I never prayed, but she never stepped up to teach me how to. I have learned about Islam only through the internet. Now that I have started praying daily, she says "When did you become so religious?" in order to mock me.

The amount of physical abuse I have been subject to is too much for me to handle now. I thought if I grew up the abuse would lessen, but it has gotten severe. She pulls me by my hair, slaps me, burns my skin by heating metal utensils, hits me with metal rods which results in blood clots and severe pain if I sit, lay down, or walk, pushes me, kicks me, and sexually assaults me by touching and grabbing my bosom.

My older sister is studying in university, while my younger sister attends school. I have graduated but decided to sit my exams out again since I didn't achieve grades that were good enough for admission. So now I am stuck at home with her. I try to avoid her as much as I can, but she complains to my father that I am lazy and sit all day in my room and not help her out as if I will "achieve anything in life," when in fact I am trying to avoid getting hurt by her. I am constantly compared to my classmates who have gotten admission into universities and who are more successful than I will ever be.

Because of her, I have been struggling to study. I went from an A+ student to C in all my subjects. My father is extremely disappointed in me and has been pressuring me into giving different exams for the admission requirements. I am tired and can't complain about it to anyone.  I do want to attend university but I don't see the point of it anymore, as I'm just depressed and don't see a future for myself. I have no help from my other family members, they all live back in my hometown and can't do anything. I have absolutely no escape from my situation.

I can't talk to her about anything because she ends up using it against me. I just want someone, for once, to talk to me in a soft voice. They have very high expectations from me, but I am burnt out and just want someone to listen to me. Even if I do talk about my difficulties with them, I will be yelled at.

I have begged and made Dua during the lowest points of my life, during Ramadan, to help me get out of this household. Even during the holy month she never misses a breath to curse me. I don't enjoy Ramadan at all, because I know that every year will be more of the same. I have never been close to Allah; it only began during the lockdown when I realized what the true meaning of my life is. I'm trying my hardest to be the best woman in my family.

I'm here just to talk about my problems in life, rather than wanting a physical solution to it. I can't get any help since the country I live in won't help me in these situations like you guys in the West get. So please don't bother in saying I should sneak out or run away from home, get social service help etc etc. I don't have that privilege here.

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5 Responses »

  1. Asalamualaykum Sister,

    Wow...what a truly harrowing experience you have shared with us. I'm so very sorry for your pain sister. Please know that you are beautiful, brave, and above all, a Muslimah. Your connection with Allah, which I'm happy to hear is growing, is more valuable than any educational opportunity, good grades, or even your own parents. You can turn to Allah in prayer, something you worked on and established because you are a wise and goodhearted person. And because you are oppressed, He will hear and respond, because there is "no barrier between the dua of the oppressed and Allah." Please don't feel as there is no escape...because no matter what country you live in, the most powerful source of all help, Allah, is always there.

    Instead of complaining about your grades, your father should be protecting you from your mother's behavior...that is incumbent on him. Why he is turning a shoulder to all of your mother's abuse, allowing it to continue, and then holding you to unreasonable standards in the face of abuse is an area he needs to seriously consider and evaluate. He seems to be either unaware or observing it with rose-colored glasses. Have you had a discussion with him about this? We shouldn't have to tell our parents to show us love, but this is the Dunya, and things are not perfect here. You may have to share with your dad all that is happening and tell him that you don't feel safe and need his help. Perhaps he doesn't know the extent of it or thinks that because you haven't approached him, you are "fine" with everything as is.

    You shouldn't have to live where you feel intimidated by others and are held back rather than given the opportunity and fertile soil to grow to your potential. This is a test of patience for you. Be kind to yourself more than you've been kind to anyone else before, as you deserve it more than anyone. Also, I don't know what country you live in, but even if there is no Social Services, there should be some kind of law enforcement present? If so, you should call the emergency number when you are being abused!

    Your parents both need to be taught how to behave and how to value you, and you may be the one who has to teach them...I know that's not ideal, usually it's the parents teaching the children how to behave, but once again, this is your test...the way you can know this deep down inside is to ask yourself the question: "Was this in my control?" Clearly, you did not choose your family, but were rather born into it, which tells you this is a test from Allah and He is only waiting for you to love yourself and defend yourself before He gives your more than you can dream of, Inshallah. So do what you can to take care of yourself with the resources you have been blessed with...stay hydrated with water and good, nutritious food, go to sleep at a reasonable hour and get plenty of sleep. Take breaks throughout the day as needed to gain your energy back. Stick to your Salah to your capability and make ample Dua to your loving creator. He has you, and will not let this behavior from your parents go unchecked forever. I can assure you of that!



    • Wa Alaikum salam,

      Thank you for your response and compliments.

      In response to my father's behaviour, I just want to say that he has had enough of her too. He had protected me when I was young but now he doesn't mainly because my mother hates it when he supports us. I don't tell him all my problems; I've never told my problems to others, but whenever I do he only responds with 'pray to Allah'. My mother hit and injured my father too during a serious argument on Eid 2020, regarding family matters, it was truly the worst eid. Ever since then, she uses the incident to blackmail him and make herself the victim, even though she knows she started all of it. My father just stays quiet because if he says anything she will yell at him and say "how dare you raise your voice at me?". She uses the 'wife card' to get what she wants.

      I live in Saudi Arabia for 18 years. I can call the emergency number and get help only momentarily. They will most probably call my parents and explain to them that what they are doing is wrong and I'll be sent back home again. So you see, there isn't any way out physically.

      I have given my exam and got good grades for engineering Alhamdulillah! My father wants me and my elder sister(who graduated) to study abroad, but my mother has declined it. She doesn't want us to be away from her surveillance. So now I can only hope for a miracle.

      Please do keep making dua'a for me, as I will for your khair too, In sha Allah.

      • Asalamualaykum nuhaa,

        It definitely sounds as if your mother is using the "wife card." Blackmail makes things very difficult as it makes you feel like you are in a prison with no escape. No matter what you do, you feel guilty and like you are disappointing the other person.

        Going abroad to study definitely sounds like the best solution, and she should feel ashamed hampering you from your higher education.

        In good news, Allah is the One who does create miracles! And you have a direct line to Him through your Salah and dua. So if you find it hard to go against her wishes, remember that nothing in this Dunya is permanent, and the world is in constant flux. Just keep praying until Allah relieves you of your distress in the BEST way.

        I have made dua to Allah for you...that Allah resolve this matter for you in a way that increases your faith in Him.



  2. You have to save yourself from her. STUDY LIKE THERES NO TOMORROW!! Education will empower you and make a means to get out of the house and will add value to your profile as a girl for future prospects. Try to ignore everything she does and focus on preparing for exams to get the highest marks. I am telling you she is sabotaging you at the most important time of your life and setting you up for problems in the future. You have to really understand this. I have been through this and have unfortunately failed and destroyed my future by looking to escape instead of working hard and being successful. You have to stay strong and even if she abuses you. Do whatever it takes scream yell don't let her sabotage you. You are near the finish line. You will go to university be successful get married and have a bright future inshallah with your husband and children. This time will pass and you will put this abuse behind you. You have what your mother doesn't have, that is time on your side. You can achieve so much and you have. Just strive and get through. May Allah make it easy for you and open the path of success for you. Dear sister Allah loves you more than 70 mothers. Get this and understand 70 mothers!!! Do not back down and don't let her think otherwise. She is trying to confuse and disappoint you and setting you up for failure in adult life.

    • Thank you so much. I love the motivation you gave me.

      Alhamdulillah, I got amazing grades and have applied to universities. I just wish I could study abroad, away from my mother. Please do make dua'a for me and I will for you. In sha Allah.

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